自我介绍：我是北京语言大学外国语学院大二英语系的学生。我的比赛宣言：Dare to disagree; here to speak. 我毕业于深圳外国语学校，热爱英语学习。作为一个英语专业的学生，英语写作、演讲和辩论是我的最大乐趣，经常参加相关的活动，不断提高自己的英语水平和思辨能力。另外，我爱好广泛，有拉小提琴、打篮球，唱歌等特长。
Ladies and gentlemen, the first time I heard about the American Dream, I was amazed: 'That's not an American Dream. That's my dream.' It's my dream to arise from rags to riches. It's my dream to move from cabin to capital. I wear jeans, I eat burgers, I have an i-phone, I watch Hollywood films. Like thousands of the post-90s generation in this country, I have an 'American' Dream.
But then I had a bitter quarrel with my American friend. He said: 'Chinese are so cold: even families don't say I love you or kiss each other.' I was so mad that I told him that Chinese filial piety was too profound for his arrogant western mind to comprehend. 'You people only care about you. My people care about us.' My poor American friend was offended but so was I! This little clash, though unpleasant, cleared up all the confusion I had about my cultural identity: I don't want to be an American! I admire America, but I love China. Even if I complain to my parents about their clumsy expression of affection, I love their simple words and selfless actions. Even if I moan to my classmates about us sharing a crowded dorm, I feel isolated if I live and eat alone. Even if I have an American Dream, I still believe in traditional Chinese values. Likewise, my American friend now understands the Chinese way of showing affection but still values American directness.
Cultural clashes, big or small, are a crucial part of cultural coexistence. The egg-shaped National Grand Theatre in Beijing, designed by the French architect Paul Andreu, has provoked a 'cultural storm' at home and abroad. This UFO-like building, standing beside Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, was criticised by some experts as 'not Chinese enough in its appearance and not harmonious enough with the surroundings'. Others, however, appreciate that its futuristic aura makes Beijing more diverse and tolerant. Even now, this debate seems to have no winner. Nor has it led to a happy ending pleasing everybody. However, such a clash between Chinese tradition and western futurism can revitalise and sustain both cultures by making us afresh. As I walk around the theatre —its reflection in the lake below, kites swooping in the sky above —I am challenged, like the quarrel with my American friend, to rethink what a Chinese dream might be, both for me and the nation as a whole.
Ladies and gentlemen, cultural clashes don't break coexistence. They make it.